“You are damaged and broken and unhinged. But so are shooting stars and comets.”― Nikita Gill
If you have read some of my previous posts you are aware that I did not have an easy childhood…but then who among us has? You work with what you have, not what you wish for.
I knew I was broken from a relatively young age. Throughout my journey I would often think that it was impossible for me to understand what “normal” is in relation to my interaction with the world. I would never really fit in. I was anchor-less and alone in this feeling of separation. When I thought too long or hard about it I could get into a fairly dark place. And yet I persevered by always putting one foot in front of the other – no matter how small a step I was able to take. In the past couple of years, however, there has been a deepening shift inside of me. I now understand that the struggles and challenges I have experienced and overcome in my life are part of what make me beautiful and uniquely me.
If we do not experience our own heartbreaks, betrayals, feelings of being cast aside or any number of other trials throughout our journeys, perhaps we would not be able to empathize and truly connect with other people. The cycle of pain and healing creates a commonality that transcends gender, race or country of origin. It is this connection with others that bolsters our humanity. This sacred connection between all of us motivates us to be better people.
Recently, though I am not sure where, I came across a picture of a piece of pottery that had obviously been broken and put back together. I couldn’t stop looking at the picture; I thought it was incredibly beautiful. I did a little research and found that it is called kinsukuroi or kintsugi. If you look up the translation of the word this is what you will find:
“Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as kinsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.”
In other words, you take something broken and the way in which you put it back together makes it even more beautiful than its original form. This idea that beauty lay in the brokenness was a revelation for me. It put into a new light the perceived negative aspects of our journey, so that I can now see the challenges as opportunities for transformation. How incredible is it that our lives are full of opportunities to overcome, be stronger, kinder and more compassionate?
Of course the other side of that coin is when we reflect upon the difficulties in our lives as being perpetrated upon us, we feed our minds with thoughts of being preyed upon and that we are unable to protect ourselves. When we get stuck in that place in our head, the broken pieces remain broken. There is no mending, there is no healing. We remain fractured and fragmented, unable to fill ourselves with the love and beauty that surrounds us everyday. We wait, often times in vain, for those that broke us to come and fix the damage they have done. We are so devastated at being broken in the first place that we are unable to see that the need – and the power – to repair the wounds is ours and ours alone. And by embracing this power to heal ourselves, we will only be more stable, substantial and beautiful than we were before.
What do we use to mend the broken pieces? If we try to repair ourselves using blame, anger and hatred, our efforts will be futile and can only serve to further shatter us. Love, compassion and gratitude are the gold and silver lacquer with which we can truly put ourselves back together. And in doing so, we allow the world to see how much more beautiful and strong we are for having been broken and healed.
We are all human and in that humanity lies our beautiful imperfections. Instead of denying these blemishes and flaws, if we learn to embrace them – and ourselves – with an open heart, we can bring to the world the very best and most beautiful rendition of ourselves.
“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.”― Shannon L. Alder
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am so grateful!
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